“Mrs. Howard… We’re here…” Chloe’s voice brought me back to the car.
“What happened?” I mumbled, eyes fogged and full of sleep, “Did I…fall asleep?”
You’d think with all the excitement of the day, I’d not want to close my eyes and drift away.
Chloe grinned and opened her car door, letting a gust of chilled air in to sweep right around me. If there was a better way to wake up the senses, I didn’t know it yet.
Stepping out of the car, I looked around my new surroundings, with no more knowledge of where I was. We were parked beside a medium-sized cottage in the middle of a dense wood, full of dark green trees, barely allowing any sunlight through. The cottage was neat, with a golden thatched roof and rose honeysuckle growing up the blonde stone; its door was simple unpainted wood almost growing out the ground to complete the homely- and very feminine- look.
A platinum-blonde-haired lady stepped out cautiously, eyeing the three of us with slight annoyance and a touch of fear. She wore a black suit: a thigh(calf?)-length plaited skirt, and a long-sleeve jacket over a white ruffled blouse. The stilettos she wore were towering, adding at least two or three inches to her average height, black net gloves concealed her fingers but I saw a glint of metal in her hand: a ruby-studded dagger. Her emerald eyes widened as she saw (and finally recognised) Chloe, showing the dark mascara smudges and bags underneath them. She looked as though she had not had sleep for some time.
“Chloe… I didn’t see you there,” The lady smiled a little and the dagger was tucked back into a secret pocket in her dark jacket. Minerva must have designed special clothing for all of their employees.
“Busy day?” The lady asked, looking to Mike and I.
“You could say that… I have someone that you’ll want to meet.” Chloe replied before gesturing to me. I tiptoed forward obediently, but not without reservations.
“This is…Mrs. Howard,” Chloe announced with some grandeur, as though she was expecting a big result. It was exactly what she got. The lady’s mouthed dropped a little, while she still tried to keep her decorum, and if she hadn’t had a hand against the cottage wall, she might have tripped over her heels in surprise.
“Oh, and what can we do for you?” The lady said, once she had recovered her balance.
“She needs a strong drink and a bit of asylum.”
“From someone in Tydeus, no doubt? But of course you may stay.”
I just hoped that they hadn’t been expecting me.